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TheatreWorks

presents

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

Directed by Connie Anderson

Cast

Pseudolus - Mark Anderson
Senex - Christopher Kibbe
Domina - Lisa Forsgard
Hysterium -Steven Slate
Hero - Ryan Latour
Lycus - Jamieson Schiff
Philia - Jessica Roch
Miles Gloriosus - John Pacheco
Erronius -Joe Casey
Tintinabula - Tina Brouillette
Geminae -Andrea Grondines, Breah Dolf
Vibrata - Melissa Joseph
Gymnasia - Marissa Kurtzner
The Proteans -  Brian Lemieux, Eric Desnoyers, Ben Christiano

Reviewed by Don Gillis, March 14, 2003 

The plot revolves around Pseudolus (Mark Anderson), a slave who will do almost anything to gain his freedom. When Pseudolus is left in charge of his owner's young son Hero (Ryan Latour) who has fallen madly in love with a beautiful courtesan, the fun begins. The young boy promises Pseudolus his freedom if he can arrange a marriage before his father returns. Pseudolus, of course, agrees. But not even the conniving slave can foresee the tangled web that he is about to weave.

 Director Connie Anderson has assembled a very talented cast which will  have you laughing at this fast paced, crazy comedy with more twists and turns of events that will have you smiling all evening.  The entire ensemble is outstanding from Pseudolus to the Courtesans.  Mark Anderson, as Pseudolus, commands the stage providing the audience with many laughs.  His timing is perfect as are the other cast members.  Mark is surrounded by great talent too.

 Christopher Kibbe as Senex plays his part to the hilt with his wife Domina played by Lisa Forsgard.  The two of them will have you smiling, especially Lisa who screams out at her husband.  She also has a song in Act II, "A Dirty Old Man" which is especially difficult to sing, but Lisa does a great job with it.  I liked her portrayal and wished that she was in the story more.  For whatever reason, this script's focus is on the men, except for the promiscuous courtesans, Tina Broullette (who choreographed the show), Andrea Grondines , Breah Dolf, Melissa Joseph and Marissa Kurtzner.

I was impressed with the caliber of talent in this production - all were very well rehearsed and performed well above the average community theater calibur. You will be delighted to listen to the wonderful operatic voice of Jessica Roch as Philia, and her lover  Hero, played by Ryan Latour.  When the two of them take stage, you are in awe at their talented voices.  Beautiful!

Steven Slate does a wonderful job as Hysterium.  He was particularly good in the second act dressed as a female (Philia).  His confrontations with Miles Gloriosus played by a commanding John Pacheco will delight you.  Slate was consistent throughout the play, and had many lines and actions to perform , which he did so well. The reprise of "Lovely" with Pseudolus was one of his highlights.

Joe Casey has you smiling as he enters and runs around Rome three times at different intervals throughout the show.  Joe is a great guy, and I last saw him in Two By Two - as the lead.  He is one talented guy!

The part of Lycus was played capably by a newcomer to me, Jamieson Schiff.  My first impression was that he got better as the show went along - he looked comfortable after being on stage for a while.  His acting was believable and his interactions were probably the best in his performance.

The Proteans were played quite capably by Ben Christiano, Eric Desnoyers, and Brian Lemieux.  These guys provide the audience with a smooth transition from one scene to another, and at the same time, play dual roles. Great job!!

I have to mention the SET.  I have seen a lot of sets, but this one was the best set of forum that I have seen.  The colors were delightful to the eye, and the decorations were wonderfully painted.  See the photo at the end of this review.  Mark Anderson and his lovely wife, Connie,  are responsible for the creative set design. Their staff of workers should be delighted to know that their work did not go unnoticed (at least not by this reviewer).. 

Musical direction by Katie Estrella and her musicians was quite nice. Costumes, lighting (especially the strobe) and spots were very professional. Stage Manager, Paul Adam and his crew did a great job of keeping the flow going.  This show cannot drag, and Paul did a great job of managing the stage.

The whole production is so well presented  that you will be doing yourself a disservice if you do not  go see it.  Make your reservations - its one of the best of the local musicals around at this time.

Please sign my Guestbook~

Don Gillis
Little Rhody Theater

 

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (March 14 - March 29, 2003)
THEATRE WORKS AUDITORIUM
78 Earle Street
Woonsocket, RI
(401) 766-1898 and press 1